Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Middle class
(2,378 words)

1. Definition

The term Wirtschaftsbürgertum (literally “economic bourgeoisie”; here simply “middle class”) was coined by German-speaking scholars to denote members of the early modern bourgeoisie who were independent and enjoyed substantial economic success. Functional equivalents in other languages include English middle class, French and English entrepreneurs and bourgeoisie. The term refers to especially innovative or wealthy sect…

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Fahrmeir, Andreas, “Middle class”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_030407>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801



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